Sunday, 23 June 2013

oh the mind, mind has mountains


Before I left Austria, my mum and I went to the mountains for a day. I feel strangely at home there. I don't like the sea, I don't like flat landscapes. This is not necessarily because I grew up in a mountainous country (apparently only 32% of Austria is below 500 metres!) - I grew up in a big city, and even though we went to the mountains and hills whenever we went on holiday, I'm not exactly Heidi. If anything, I'm Clara, Heidi's friend who grows up in the big city. But growing up in Austria meant growing up with the myth of the mountains: the photographs of my dad and granddad on various peaks, children's books where kids grow up in the mountains, Heidi on television, skiing as a national sport. The idea of the mountains was more powerful and interesting than the reality of the flat (and rather dull) East of Austria. To me, the English landscape is exotic: it fills me with astonishment.

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